Convincing your parents they need to be cared for by professional staff at a nursing home is a difficult conversation. You will have concerns about their general wellbeing, especially given regular reports of elder abuse. Considering 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 60 have experienced some type of abuse, it's no wonder you are nervous about placing a loved one in a long-term care facility.
Mom or dad on the other hand, may have similar concerns about their care and the risks of potential abuse or suffering an injury away from home. When you research nursing homes, you can and should ask how the facility plans for and responds to such incidents. You can also put your parents' minds at ease by letting them know they have a right to continue seeking care from their regular doctor.
The resident's basic rights
A good nursing home will treat their residents with care and compassion. However, the law also protects residents with additional rights. The facility you choose should give you a copy of what they are entitled to. Some of those rights include:
- To be treated with dignity and respect.
- To be informed about services and fees, in writing, before becoming a resident.
- To manage their own money or to choose someone else they trust to do it for them.
- To privacy, to use and keep personal belongings and property provided it does not interfere with the rights, health and safety of other residents or staff.
- To refuse medications.
- To receive information about their medical condition and medications.
- To see their own doctor.
- To set their own schedule (e.g. when they wake or go to bed and when they choose to go to activities, etc.).
- To feel at home and enjoy as much independence as possible.
Knowing your parents have rights and discussing them with mom or dad will not only ease your fears but also reduce their anxiety when faced with the realty of long-term care.
In the event mom or dad suffers an unexplained injury, speak to their care providers about the incident. If you are not satisfied with how they handled the situation, you can contact an attorney experienced with personal injury and nursing home negligence to discuss further options.